Marriage Counseling Frequently Asked Questions
For high-achievers, life is often a balancing act between professional aspirations, hobbies, and personal relationships. Our coaching program is designed with this unique challenge in mind. It’s not just about simply resolving conflicts; it’s about aligning and prioritizing your relationship goals with your professional ambitions so that you can live a joy-filled, purposeful life! By understanding the pressures and demands you face, we can co-create a roadmap that not only strengthens your relationships but also complements your business needs. In other words, I want you to have it all! You can continue “crushing it” at work. But you shouldn’t be leaving those whom you love, and who love you, feeling crushed at home!
Every individual, every couple, brings a unique narrative to the table. I believe in honoring that narrative. By deeply understanding your journey, your challenges, and your aspirations, We will craft a strategy for success that’s uniquely yours. High-achieving professionals especially find that standard solutions often fall short. There are plenty books and programs that teach you basic concepts for relationship success. I’ve read many of them, and you probably have as well. In fact, many online programs are really just a relationship advice book turned into a video taught by someone who’s read the book. Most people nod their head in agreement, get entertained, and even learn a few great tips. Very few, however, successfully go on to apply that knowledge to their specific lives and relationships in a truly transformative way. I’m here to help you to do just that. So let’s dive in and turn that knowledge into applied wisdom. Your story deserves an upgrade.
Certainly. Over the last 17 years, I’ve had the privilege of working with many, many couples, each with their unique challenges. I’ve collaborated with CEOs, entrepreneurs, professional athletes, entertainers, pastors, professors, and other “super-achiever” professionals. From navigating the pressures of dual-career households to balancing work travel with quality time, to parenting disagreements and recovering from major trust violations, the stories are indeed diverse. While I’d love to share these tales, maintaining confidentiality is paramount to me. However, in our sessions, I often discuss broad patterns, success stories, and even failures that might provide insights to guide your decisions.
At the heart of my approach is a deeply relational touch. While I’ve embraced online coaching platforms, they’re tools to enhance, not replace, our genuine human connection. Clients often express surprise and appreciation for the unexpected “face to face” intimacy and flexibility of meeting online. The convenience of attending from their own space and having the option to meet at unconventional hours, such as after the kids are asleep, has proven invaluable. Meeting on Zoom has eliminated some of the traditional hassles of commuting to an office, sitting in a waiting room, and coordinating childcare.
I’ve also worked with couples where one partner travels frequently for work. I recall an early attempt at online counseling where a wife was in my office, and we connected with her husband, who was traveling, via Skype. As time has evolved, the world has embraced online interactions. Now, equipped with professional-grade cameras and microphones, I can engage with couples even more clearly than when they sat across from me in my office. My shift to online was a proactive decision I made, even before the pandemic became a global concern, ensuring I was ahead of the curve and prepared to serve my clients in the best way possible.
Above all, please know that your comfort, experience, and privacy are always my top priorities.
Resistance, while challenging, is a natural part of the growth journey. It often signals deeper concerns or fears. Instead of seeing it as a roadblock, I view it as an opportunity to delve deeper, to truly understand the underlying issues. By creating a safe space for open dialogue, we work through these moments, ensuring that both of you feel heard, valued, and understood.
Success is multifaceted. It’s not just about resolving conflicts but about fostering understanding, growth, and alignment with your shared vision. Together, we’ll define what success looks like for you – be it improved communication, renewed intimacy, or achieving specific relationship goals. Regular check-ins, reflections, and celebrating milestones ensure we’re on the right path.
It’s not uncommon for one partner to be more invested initially. Recognizing this, I strive to create an environment where both partners feel valued and heard. Sometimes, it’s about understanding the reservations of the less-engaged partner, addressing their concerns, and finding common ground. Our journey is collaborative, ensuring both partners find value and meaning in the process. After-all, you aren’t just a couple of ‘I’’s, you’re a “We” – a Team!
The high-achieving lifestyle often comes with its own set of challenges, including travel and unpredictable schedules. Flexibility is paramount. In fact, the need for adaptability was a driving force behind my decision to offer online sessions long before the pandemic nudged other providers in that direction. I’ve consistently worked with couples whose roles and responsibilities made regular, in-person commitments challenging. Drawing from this experience, I’m adept at accommodating your unique scheduling needs. If, for some reason, one of you can’t attend a scheduled session, we can either reschedule or proceed with an individual session for the available partner. The primary objective is to maintain continuity and steady progress, ensuring that, despite life’s unpredictabilities, your relationship always remains front and center.
Both are deeply intertwined and crucial to the health of your marriage. A relationship thrives when each individual grows. We’ll focus on personal growth, understanding how it influences the relationship, and vice versa. It’s a holistic, systemic approach, ensuring that as you evolve individually, your relationship blossoms in tandem.
It’s a journey from coexistence to deep connection. Many couples, over time, find themselves in patterns that resemble co-parenting roommates. That I assume isn’t at all what you signed up for! My approach is to help you reignite the spark, fostering deeper understanding, communication, and intimacy. My goal is to give you the tools to rediscover the joy, passion, and connection that may have waned over time.
Every experience, good or bad, offers insights. We’ll start by understanding what didn’t resonate with you in past counseling. You aren’t alone… I hear on a weekly basis stories such as, “We tried marriage counseling but my counselor and my spouse ganged up on me…so I just shut down” or “The counselor told me I should just get a divorce.” The reality is that there is a lot of bad advice floating around out there around how to build and maintain a great marriage. Many of the so-called marriage counselors aren’t actually even trained as marriage counselors, but rather as “mental health counselors.” Their intent is generally good, but their approach is often damaging to the couple’s relationship unfortunately. So, I get it. But I’d encourage you, to not throw the proverbial baby out with the bathwater. This is an opportunity for a fresh start, with a focus on building trust, understanding, and a journey that feels right for you. So I welcome your questions!
Marriage intensives are especially helpful for those busy couples who seek rapid, transformative progress. These are customized 2, 3, or 4-day programs, offering deep dives into specific challenges or goals. For high-achievers, this deep-dive focused approach can be especially helpful, allowing them to purposefully disconnect from the distractions of their busy lives and focus on each other. It also provides more opportunity for fun and romance as the relationship is the sole focus!
Let me know if you would like to schedule a VIP day, or a multi day intensive. Although Zoom is an option, most couples prefer to meet in the resort towns of either Prescott or Sedona, Arizona, Estes Park, Colorado, or Scottsdale, Arizona. Contact me for further details.
The men’s mastermind group is more than just a support group; it’s an exclusive community of growth, support, and shared experiences. Join fellow high-achievers on a transformative journey, reaping the benefits of collective wisdom, camaraderie, and focused personal and relational growth. APPLY HERE
- “Brotherhood of Men” – Mastermind and Connect on a deep level with a small group of men who’ll walk this journey with you over the next year!
- “StrongHusband Blueprint Program” – Learn new skills, develop a strategy, steel your mindset, finally experience the changes that bring about a thriving joy filled family life!
- “Expert Coaching Support” – We will walk alongside you and provide expert guidance derived from years of experience in helping men repair and grow amazing marriages!
Your time is invaluable, and I deeply respect that. I offer a range of session formats – from 15 minute check-in “accountability” calls, 30, 60, 90 and 120 minute video calls to weekend intensives – all designed to accommodate your demanding schedule. In fact my VIP clients get my personal cell phone and access to my calendar where they can quickly schedule a session as needed. I’m not like the large “agencies” where the employee-counselors are overloaded with clients. I’m selective and only work with clients whom I’m able and willing to dive all in with for a season set aside for rapid growth. Together, we’ll find a rhythm that aligns with your commitments while ensuring our sessions are productive and meaningful.
When it comes to the investment, I’ve set up a unique approach where I charge a set fee for a dedicated period based on the program you are in. I’m not into the “nickel and dime” game many counselors play. If you show up and do the work, you’ll get the results and my services will be well worth the investment. If you don’t show up, I’m expensive. So show up.
Now, about insurance – it’s a bit tricky. Your insurance is all about the “medically necessary,” which means they’re looking for an “identified patient” with a diagnosable condition. So, while they’ll cover “mental health counseling,” they won’t cover our journey of strengthening the “We” in your relationship. And trust me, you don’t want one of you labeled with a diagnosis just to fit an insurance mold.
Ever heard of couples feeling like it’s two against one in therapy? That’s often because many counselors are trained to focus on the individual, not the “We.” And while saving some cash with insurance sounds tempting, research has shown that couples who go this route with individual-focused therapists often face even higher divorce rates than if they were to do nothing at all.
So, let’s focus on building that amazing “We” together, without letting insurance dictate our path.
Building a stronger bond in your marriage requires intention, effort, and time. Here’s how our journey can look:
- Weekly Sessions: Initially, I recommend weekly sessions to establish momentum. As we progress and you start building new habits, we might opt for occasional breaks to fit your busy schedule.
- Marriage Intensives: For those looking for a deep dive, I offer marriage intensives where we work together for 2-3 full days. This immersive experience is followed by monthly sessions over the next three months to ensure sustained growth and progress.
- Flexible Availability: I understand the challenges of juggling work, family, and personal time. That’s why I offer regular late-night sessions and even the occasional weekend emergency session to accommodate busy parents and professionals.
- Limited Clients: I prioritize quality over quantity. I onboard only a few clients each month for my one-to-one VIP program, ensuring that I’m available every week you wish to connect.
Remember, just like any new habit, strengthening your relationship will take time, but I’m here to guide and support you every step of the way.
That’s an excellent question. Years ago, I followed the traditional “by the hour” billing model, much like many other mental health professionals. However, my experience with couples taught me something crucial: genuine, lasting change often requires at least 12-15 sessions.
Here’s the thing. Our country’s approach to mental health sometimes falls short. Many individuals attend just a handful of sessions, typically when they’re grappling with a significant crisis. They discuss their issues, start feeling better, and then, as the immediate pain of the crisis fades, they stop attending. But in my view, that’s precisely when the most impactful work begins! With the immediate crisis behind them, individuals are more open, trusting, and optimistic. This openness allows for deeper, more transformative work — the kind that prevents the same issues from resurfacing a few months down the line. And building trust in the process with your partner and counselor? That’s a journey, not a sprint. A couple of hours simply aren’t enough.
Another observation from my years of practice involves couples, especially men. I used to receive calls from men suggesting we had “fixed” everything after a few good days. When I ask for their reasoning, it’s often something like, “Well, we haven’t fought this week, and we had sex…twice!” While these are positive signs, they don’t paint the complete picture. Experiencing optimism from a week without arguments and a renewed sense of closeness with your partner is a great place from which to really do the real work of building a lasting joy-filled marriage. It’s not necessarily a measure of marital success.. More often than not, these couples would end up returning in a few months, and we would find ourselves starting from square one.
I consistently encourage couples to commit to the process. Think of it like a gym membership. If you’re genuinely committed to getting fit, you might hire a trainer or join a class to keep you accountable. Similarly, in my experience, couples who fully commit to the coaching process achieve the most meaningful results.
Absolutely, I wish more people would ask these questions prior to just hiring anyone who says they do “marriage counseling” on their website.
Education and Experience:
Unlike many counselors, coaches, and pastors, I spent three years earning a Master’s of Science Degree in Marriage and Family Therapy. This extensive training has equipped me with the theoretical knowledge and practical skills to assist couples as they navigate the family life cycle. But beyond the academic qualifications, my 16+ years of experience as a marriage counselor and coach have given me invaluable insights into the intricacies of human behavior, motivation, and relationships.
Diverse Professional Background:
What might set me apart from many others in the field is my unique blend of professional backgrounds. Alongside my work and education in marriage counseling, I’ve also been a business owner and have been deeply involved as a business consultant and civil designer. My undergraduate college degrees were actually in geology and environmental science. These educational and work experiences have given me a unique lens to understand the challenges faced by high-achieving professionals, especially in balancing their personal and professional lives. Additionally, I’ve received training in life and leadership coaching through the Professional Christian Coaching Institute, further enhancing my skill set.
Moreover, I’m not just a counselor; I’m a family man. I’m happily married and a proud father of five children. I deeply value the time spent with my loved ones, which gives me a firsthand understanding of the importance of nurturing relationships. My personal passions, like fly fishing and music, have taught me the significance of balance, creativity, and finding joy outside of work. These personal values deeply inform my professional approach.
In essence, I don’t just offer textbook solutions. I bring to the table a combination of academic knowledge, years of hands-on experience, and a genuine understanding of the challenges and joys of married life. My goal is to help couples not only navigate their issues but also to find balance, fulfillment, and purpose in their journey together.